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Did you know that...?

August 28, 2011

Martin Lachance… a true believer!

Martin Lachance

This month we are pleased to present Martin Lachance, Product Manager – Cruises with the Greater Québec Tourism Bureau. Passionate about both Québec and cruiseshipping, Martin enthusiastically shares with us his love of the city and environs. Born and raised at Québec, Martin graduated from Université Laval in Public Relations and worked in the hotel industry before joining the city’s tourism bureau in 1995. He’s been there ever since! His genuine passion for people, for storytelling and for tourism made it an easy choice for him.

This is Quebec… the city!
In cruise line, travel trade and media circles, Martin is known as the ‘voice of Québec’. He is dedicated, approachable and, over the years, has promoted the Québec capital around the world. His first experience on a cruise ship dates back to 1977 when the Alexander Pushkin docked at Québec… he was hooked! He even remembers his parents hosting a dinner for the officers in their home!   

Martin fully understands the importance of teamwork in a tourism bureau sales and marketing environment. His extensive network of partners, which include the Port of Québec and provincial Ministry of Tourism, has contributed handsomely to the buzz generated by this historic city and partner ports of call along the St Lawrence. Martin is grateful to his organization for providing him with the opportunity to take part in major events across North America. As a proud member of Cruise the St Lawrence, he sat on the Board of Directors for many years, taking an active role in sales promotion with all partners from Îles de la Madeleine to Montréal.  

As most major cruise lines dropping anchor at Québec will tell you, both the port and destination are consistently top ranked by passengers. Surprising? Not really… since each has earned any number of prestigious industry awards.

Local authorities, including the Greater Québec Tourism Bureau and members, as well as governments have come to realize the importance of the cruiseshipping business and have agreed to commit a combination of enhanced efforts and increased funding. Investment of the order of $1.9 million will make it possible to spur regional marketing initiatives over a period of three years. Funds will be used to improve marketing, boost the tourist supply and promote local buying.
Greater Québec lives and breathes tourism:

  • The region attracts some 4.5 million tourists a year, including over 1.1 million from 75 countries and close to 600 000 from the US!
  • Annual tourism spending stands at $1.4 billion
  • In 2007, the region provided for 29 000 regular, full-time tourism-related jobs 
  • Approximately 550 hotel properties together boast a total of some 17 250 rooms 
  • Québec is the 4th most important tourist destination in Canada after Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver (based on numbers of visitors)

In 2011, Québec will have welcomed some 85 000 passengers (almost half in turnaround operations) plus 25 000 crew members. In 2012, the city expects to welcome 100 000 passengers (40 000+ in turnaround operations) at Ross-Gaudreault Cruise Terminal. All this translates into new sources of income for the city’s economy. “But we are aiming for more!” Martin says.

There’s no doubt in his mind that Québec has what it takes to satisfy the needs of cruise lines and the most discerning of cruiseshippers:

  • Ships dock at the foot of Cap Diamant at Ross-Gaudreault Cruise Terminal.
  • Québec is the only walled city north of Mexico and has cobblestone streets just like in Europe less, of course, the jetlag!
  • Québec is the cradle of French civilization in North America.
  • Québec, capital of the Canadian province of the same name, stands as a testimony to the influence of Canada’s founding peoples. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Québec is a city to be discovered on foot and features an abundance of fabulous shops and boutiques.
  • Québec is clean, safe and renowned for its vibrant nightlife. The city has the highest ratio of restaurants per capita in North America and is readily accessible via Jean Lesage International Airport which cooperates closely with air carriers, cruise lines, ground operators and the community.

The future never looked more promising!

Martin’s goal is to boost cruise sector operations in Québec which currently accounts for less than 2% of the total world cruise market. He expects the sector to grow steadily in the near term. And who knows? One day, Québec might need a second cruise terminal!

Québec is set to host the next Canada/New England Cruise Symposium from June 12th to 14th 2012. All stakeholders look forward to showcasing what the historic city has to offer! 

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